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It's weird isn't it, what we think is okay to be over and what's not, and how it's so much easier to see when other people are suffering and why they're suffering, but not ourselves. A colleague of mine opened up to me today about her current struggles. Basically, there was an incident in work and she's now been called to go to a disciplinary hearing. Ultimately, it was something she did (or rather didn't do...) that got her into the situation.
Many of us beat ourselves up about our abuse, about how some of us feel like it's our own fault. Whilst that isn't the case at all in our situations, even if it was, it doesn't make it any easier does it. It was strikingly clear from talking to my colleague today that it doesn't help in the slightest. I genuinely felt compassion towards her and just wished I could make the problem go away and help out in any way I could. Obviously, it's still incredibly difficult to deal with things and the whole beating ourselves up makes it even worse.
Another thing which I've realised in the past few days, is how we find it okay to "still" be upset about some things, but not our abuse. This has come up on one of my threads and someone said how it's only r*pe victims that say we "should be over it by now". All other trauma victims accept that it's okay to have a multitude of emotions surrounding the incident, even years, decades later. And the events over the past week are making me start to see that that's exactly how we view it.
Someone I'd met a few times died four years ago in a particularly traumatic way. The whole thing shook me and I found it difficult to cope with. Whilst I hardly knew the people in question, it was such a traumatic, unexpected incident that it knocked me (it's complicated). A similar incident (no one I knew but was on the news) happened a few days ago. I first heard about it when my boss mentioned it to another of my colleagues and my first reaction was to think Oh no, what's happened, I don't want to hear this, and I instantly walked out of the room as I *knew* I wouldn't be able to handle hearing of such an incident. I then heard it on the news several times throughout that day. It brought back so many feelings that day and evening and I almost burst into tears so many times in work. But, you know what? That was okay. I got upset, I got incredibly triggered, but I think anyone would have reacted in the same way. But you see, that happened a year before one of my sexual assaults. So using my theory of "I should be over this" for the assault, I should most certainly be over the deaths seeing as it was an additional year ago. But I'm not, I don't know if I ever will be okay hearing of such things, but that's okay. After all, four years realistically speaking isn't that long considering I'm getting through most of the time (wrt that at least). Yet I still beat myself up over having my down days regarding the assault, still think three years is ages and I should be okay now.
Weird isn't it.
For those reading this and going through similar feelings, please, try not to beat yourself up over things as it IS okay to be upset, it IS normal. And it doesn't matter if you think it was your fault. I mean obviously it does in that you shouldn't think that, and I can 100% guarantee that it wasn't your fault, but either way, it doesn't minimize your suffering.
Take Care and Stay Strong. Through Pandy's, friends, therapists and other supportive people in our network, we CAN and WILL get through this.